Hunting Elephants (2013) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • Three elderly men and grandson Yonatan find themselves stuck together in a Jerusalem nursing home. The kid is a genius, but stammers and is bullied at school. Yonatan's grandfather, Eliahu, whom he had never met, is a former member of the Lehi (pre-State Jewish underground), and a cold person. Eliahu's best friend from Lehi, Nick, is full of ambition and passion that will never materialize; and Eliahu's English brother-in-law, a has-been, third-rate actor in debt for 232,000 euros. There's one thing keeping them together - they all want to rob the bank that employed Yonatan's deceased father to avenge it for not paying the Yonatan's mother compensation for his dad's death, due to the "small print" in his employment contract. And they want the money to make their last wish come true.

  • In Jerusalem, a bullied teen befriends his grandfather and long lost uncle and soon they decide to solve their financial problems by robbing a bank.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • The film opens with several old geezers getting their mug shots taken. It turns out that three of them robbed a bank, along with the grandson (Gil Blank as Yonatan) of one of them. While gifted, Yonatan is bullied at school. After getting suspended when the bullies force him to cheat on a test, his distraught mother takes him to the bank where his father (Tzvika Hadar as Daniel) is starting his night shift as an (overworked) security guard.

    During the shift, father and son quarrel and Daniel exhibits heart attack symptoms. Already collapsed, he instructs Yonatan to bring him his medication from his car. On the way to where the car is parked, Yonatan loses the car keys and is delayed. He does retrieve the pills, but upon entering the bank, as the alarm system is live because Daniel had been demonstrating it to Yonatan, a cage closes, trapping Yonatan and separating him from his father. Untreated, Daniel dies.

    When Yonatan's mother (Yael Abecassis as Dorit) approaches slimeball bank manager Dedi (Moshe Ivgy) for compensation, Dedi explains to her that because Daniel was not alone at the time of his demise, he's not eligible for any compensation: It's in the fine print. As she's compelled to work afternoon and evening shifts and not wanting to leave Yonatan alone, she begs her estranged father-in-law (Sasson Gabai as Eliahu) to look after Yonatan in the nursing home where he lives with his wife, Rhoda, who's in a coma, and his buddy from the Jewish pre-state underground days, Nick (Moni Moshonov). Meanwhile, desperate Dorit has begun sleeping with Dedi in exchange for much-needed money.

    Gradually Yonatan becomes buddies with Eliahu and Nick, and they are joined by Rhoda's estranged English brother, Lord Michael Simpson (Patrick Stewart), a washed-up, debt-ridden, third-rate actor. Together, Eliahu, Nick, Yonatan, and Michael hatch a plot to rob the bank to avenge Daniel's death and Dedi's debasing Dorit. Eliahu and Nick have experience robbing banks, as they robbed British banks during the Mandate period, when Lord Michael was their arch enemy. The heist is finally executed, albeit with many twists and turns and a surprise happy ending.

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